Common Sense Prevails On Asulam

11 March 2011
SNP Member of the European Parliament and member of the Parliament's Agriculture Committee, Alyn Smith, has today (Friday) welcomed the decision of the European Commission to withdraw the proposal to remove the chemical Asulam from the market for the time being.
The European Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCFCAH) was due to decide whether or not to remove the herbicide used to control the spread of bracken from the market but the proposal was withdrawn at the last minute.

In response, Smith said:

"Despite some of the rhetoric we have seen in the last few weeks, the decision confirmed my belief that the Commission has more common sense than we give it credit for and was always likely to take a reasoned and proportionate position which took into account the science, the commercial and the environmental situation.

"The decision reflects the fact that while the scientific risk assessment for Asulam does reveal major environmental concerns with regards to its effect on birds and non-target terrestrial plants, the commercial reality is that we need more time to fully develop alternatives for bracken control and thus the sector needs an adequate period to prepare. In the meantime Asulam is still required to deal with bracken.

"We've been here before with rat poison and pesticides, and perhaps it is time that we attempt to engage in a calmer way than by simply denouncing everything and making EU scientists out to be the enemy. That's not how you win friends and influence people in Brussels.

"Meantime, I have written to Commissioner Dalli on this, and await his reply with interest."